The increasing lawlessness and other aberrations shown by advocates had prompted the Supreme Court to ask the Law Commission to review the Advocates Act. The top court in its observation last July had taken note of several professional misdemeanours committed by the advocates. It felt strongly that the Law Commission needed to look with a fine tooth comb the need for regulating the legal profession, and go into all aspects, and take suggestions from stakeholders before ringing in the changes.
The Law Commission, if media reports are to be believed, has received “tough” inputs from the Bar Council of India (BCI) on changes being envisioned in the Advocates Act. The Commission is formalizing the amendments.
BCI has recommended that advocates must not refuse appearing in courts or keep away from them on any reason whatsoever. They should not be allowed to disturb or obstruct the functioning of courts in any manner, it suggested. It has sought that such aberrant lawyers be forbidden from appearing in courts for some years or even for a lifetime.
On the issue, of allowing a person to argue in courts as an advocate after he/she was already held guilty by courts for an offense or removed from service by the concerned government, the BCI has suggested that he/she could not be registered as an advocate.
The issue of fake advocates was not lost on the BCI, too. It has asked for a jail term for such errant lawyers not more than three years and a maximum fine of Rs 1 lakh.
BCI has also advocated that complaints related to despicable behavior of lawyers from litigants, whether professional or otherwise must be addressed quickly and within six months at the most. Here also the BCI has recommended fines for lawyers found guilty and even compensation for suffering litigants.
—By India legal Bureau